Few Days to Go: Here’s What You Need To Know About CHAN (Africa Nations Championship) Tournament Finals - Football News (ZW)

Few Days to Go: Here’s What You Need To Know About CHAN (Africa Nations Championship) Tournament Finals

The CHAN (African Nations Championship) 2021 finals kick off on the 16th of January, and the nations taking part in what's one of Africa's biggest soccer tournament are in their final phases of preparations before taking off for Yaounde, Cameroon where the tournament is being played, and some teams, like Uganda, are already in the host country awaiting for the kick-off. Here are just a few things or facts you might need to know about the competition before kick-off;

CHAN will be going ahead despite the Covid-19 pandemic which has caused a lot of drawbacks in many things around the world, including the tournament which was originally meant to run from the 4th to the 25th of April in 2020.

CAF (Confederation of African Football) has set strict guidelines to ensure the safety of all the participants against Covid-19.

Teams can expect to have fans cheering on, as the Cameroonian government and Caf allowed 25% of stadiums to be filled in the group stage.

This edition of CHAN will be played between the 16th of January to the 7th of August, (2021).

In the 2021 edition there will be 16 (African) teams participating. Five teams at the tournament are from SADC which are, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, and Zambia.

There have been five Chan finals played to date, in the years (2009, 2011, 2014, 2016, and 2018). The tournaments have been hosted in, Ivory Coast, Sudan, South Africa, Rwanda, and Morocco. Zimbabwe is set to appear for the fourth time at the Chan tournament.

The current Chan champions are Morocco. The Democratic Republic of Congo has most of the Chan Champions titles (2). Libya and Tunisia are the other two Champions title winners. Zimbabwe's Warriors best finish on its appearance at the finals was fourth place in the year 2014 when Chan was held in South Africa.

Morocco's Ayoub El Kaabi (striker) holds Chan's top goal scorer's record in a single tournament, having scored 9 goals in the 2018 edition. Given Singuluma,(Zambia), is the second top goal scorer at 5 goals from the 2009's edition.

Chan is only for players who are playing in the national leagues and are qualified to play in the ongoing season, and the matches are regarded by Fifa as first team matches. Meaning, players representing a nation in the international leagues are ineligible for Chan and Fifa will use match outcomes for its 'national team' records.

In a similar order to the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) up until the final match, teams at Chan teams drawn at random in four divisions made up four teams. And the two leading teams in each group, after each team has played three matches, go over to the next stage of the competition.

Chan and Zimbabwe

ZIFA (Zimbabwe Football Association) reportedly wrote to Caf for the postponement of Finals after fourteen team personnel in camp, (9 players and 5 technical team), contracted the coronavirus).

"We have proposed to Caf that the tournament be postponed to safeguard the health of the players since Covid-19 cases have been on the rise across the continent" said Zifa's spokesperson, Xolisani Gwesela.

Zimbabwe is in Group A of the CHAN tournament which has Cameroon, Mali, and Burkina Faso. Should the tournament go on, Zimbabwe will play against Cameroon in the opening match of Chan, and the match kicks off at 20:00 (Central African Time).

Zimbabwe Warriors team coach Zdravko Logarusic expects the team to win the cup, and in his words, We're not going to Chan just to add numbers.

Zimbabwe Warriors will go to the tournament with most players yet to feature in a competitive match since November 2019.

All the players in the Warriors squad have been picked from teams in the Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League, which usually runs from February to December, and in the year 2020, failed to take off due to restrictions caused by Covid-19.

Image Used From: BBC UK

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